Dangerous Crimes Against Children

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Phoenix Crimes Against Children Lawyer

Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney for Dangerous Crimes Against Children in Phoenix, AZ

Being accused of committing a Crime Against a Child (DCAC) in Arizona is nothing to take lightly. These types of cases not only carry the potential for severe legal consequences but also bear a lasting social stigma, making an experienced and dedicated defense more important than ever. At the Belén Law Firm, led by the experienced Arizona criminal defense attorney Belén Olmedo Guerra, we have what it takes to put up a strong defense for individuals accused of these grievous charges. 

Understanding the complexities and sensitivities involved in cases concerning children and dangerous crimes, we are prepared to offer a defense that is both compassionate and compelling, ensuring that every aspect of your case is meticulously examined and addressed. We know there are multiple sides to every story, and we are here to listen to yours. To speak with an experienced attorney at our Phoenix, AZ-based criminal defense law firm, call (602) 715-0908 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation today.

Phoenix Crimes Against Children Lawyer

What is a Dangerous Crime Against Children?

In Arizona, Dangerous Crimes Against Children (DCAC) stands out as a distinct and particularly serious category within the criminal justice system. This classification refers to offenses that are considered to pose significant harm to the most vulnerable members of our society—children. Crimes under this category are treated with the utmost severity due to the potential for immediate and lasting damage to young victims. As a result, Arizona’s sentencing guidelines are structured to reflect the gravity of these acts, with child abuse accusations and other crimes against children falling under the most severe portion of sentencing.

The exact parameters of what constitutes a Dangerous Crime Against Children are detailed in Arizona’s Revised Statutes, which outline the specific offenses and conditions that elevate a criminal offense to this level of severity.

ARS 13-705

Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-705 outlines the legal guidelines and penalties for Dangerous Crimes Against Children. This section specifically addresses the increased sentencing guidelines and penalties that apply to those convicted of committing severe offenses against minors and ensuring that they face equally as serious consequences. 

Phoenix Dangerous Crime Against Children Lawyer

Examples of Crimes Against Children in Arizona

ARS § 13-705 provides a full list of criminal offenses that, when committed by someone who is at least 18 and against a victim who is under the age of 15, can be classified as a DCAC. This includes things like kidnapping, assault, child molestation, murder, and more.

Child Abuse

In Arizona, child abuse is a serious offense that encompasses a range of harmful behaviors, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and criminal negligence, as outlined in ARS § 13-3623. More specifically, child abuse in Arizona occurs when an a person who is responsible for the child’s care, custody, and control causes physical harm, disfigurement, or impairs the bodily function of a child or minor. This also includes permitting someone else to inflict such injury or cause significant emotional harm, such as severe anxiety, depression, withdrawal, or aggressive behavior.

Given the complexity of child abuse cases and the severe consequences of a conviction, which can include significant legal penalties and lasting personal repercussions, skilled child abuse defense attorneys like those at Belén Law Firm are indispensable for anyone facing such grave charges.

Sexual Crimes Against Children

Sex crimes involving minors are also classified as Dangerous Crimes Against Children in Arizona. These offenses encompass a wide range of actions, including any type of sexual conduct or exploitation, perpetrated against minors. For example:

Individuals facing allegations of sex crimes against children in Phoenix or anywhere else in Arizona should seek immediate legal representation from a skilled sex crimes attorney. These attorneys know how to navigate the complex legal terrain of sex offenses, including those involving children, and can advocate for their client’s rights while crafting unique defense strategies to put up a strong fight against these criminal charges.


According to ARS § 13-1304, kidnapping occurs when an individual knowingly restrains another person with the intent to hold them for ransom, as a hostage, or with the purpose of committing other serious crimes. When children are involved, such actions are deemed even more serious and, as a result, lead to more serious criminal penalties. Child kidnapping charges can often stem from various scenarios, including parental abduction, stranger abduction, or situations where a child is unlawfully restrained.

Violent Crimes Against Children

Violent crimes against children involve actions that result in severe harm or endangerment to minors. The types of violent crimes explicitly stated in Arizona’s DCAC statute include second-degree murder; aggravated assault resulting in serious physical injury or involving the discharge, use, or threatening exhibition of a deadly weapon; attempted first-degree murder; and unlawful mutilation. 

Aggravated assault can include various forms of physical violence leading to the child’s injuries, while charges of second-degree murder or attempted first-degree murder may arise from deliberate acts or extreme recklessness causing fatal or life-threatening harm to a child. Unlawful mutilation involves intentional disfigurement or severe physical harm inflicted upon a child. 

Considering the gravity of these offenses and the vulnerability of the victims involved, you can bet that the prosecution will do whatever it takes to punish the alleged offender to the highest extent of the law. That’s why those accused of such crimes need to equip themselves with an experienced Phoenix violent crimes attorney like Belén ASAP. 

Drug Crimes

Arizona drug charges cover a wide range of offenses related to the possession, distribution, manufacturing, or trafficking of controlled substances. While drug offenses themselves may not always directly involve children, they can still be classified as Dangerous Crimes Against Children under certain circumstances. For example, involving or using children in drug-related offenses or manufacturing methamphetamine under circumstances that cause physical injury to a child will result in a DCAC charge.

Arizona Dangerous Crime Against Children

What are the Penalties for Dangerous Crimes Against Children?

Dangerous Crimes Against Children are treated with utmost severity, and those convicted can expect to face harsh legal penalties. Whether it’s a child abuse offense or a crime of a sexual nature, DCAC offenses always result in felony charges. However, the specific penalties can vary significantly based on the details of the case, including the nature of the offense and the defendant’s criminal history.

Some key aspects of these penalties include:

  • Mandatory Prison Sentences: Convictions for DCAC often result in mandatory prison sentences, with the length varying depending on the nature of the crime, the age of the victim, and the defendant’s prior criminal history. These sentences can range from several years to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
  • Aggravated Sentencing: The law provides for aggravated sentencing guidelines for DCAC, meaning that convicted individuals can face longer sentences than those prescribed for similar offenses against adults.
  • Consecutive Sentences: In cases where an individual is convicted of multiple counts of DCAC, the law may require that the sentences be served consecutively, rather than concurrently, resulting in a longer total time spent in prison.
  • Sex Offender Registration: Convicts may be required to register as sex offenders, a status that carries numerous restrictions and requirements, including notifying neighbors and communities, restrictions on where they can live and work, and ongoing monitoring by law enforcement.
  • Fines and Restitution: Convicted individuals may also be subject to substantial fines and ordered to pay restitution to the victims, which can cover costs related to medical treatment, counseling, and other damages resulting from the crime.

Arizona DCAC Penalty Chart

Below are the sentencing guidelines for Dangerous Crimes Against Children in Arizona. This includes the minimum sentence, maximum sentence, and presumptive sentence for different subsections (degrees of severity) as provided by the DCAC statute. 

Note: the charts do not include details for subsections A and B. Subsection A mandates a life sentence, while subsection B allows for the possibility of life imprisonment but specifies sentencing guidelines with a minimum of 13 years, a presumptive sentence of 20 years, and a maximum sentence of 27 years.


SubsectionMinimum SentencePresumptive SentenceMaximum Sentence
C13 years20 years27 years
D10 years17 years24 years
E5 years10 years15 years
F2.5 years5 years7.5 years


SubsectionMinimum SentencePresumptive SentenceMaximum Sentence
C23 years30 years37 years
D21 years28 years35 years
E8 years15 years22 years
F8 years15 years22 years


When a defendant reaches two historical prior convictions (predicate felonies), their sentencing options are limited exclusively to subsections C and D. The standard sentence in these cases is life imprisonment, with no possibility for mitigating or aggravating factors and without any specified mandatory minimum or maximum sentence.

Phoenix DCAC Lawyer

What is a Predicate Felony?

When a person commits a felony offense while already having a prior felony conviction under their belt, the prior conviction may elevate the severity of the new offense. A predicate felony refers to a previous felony conviction that serves as a basis for enhancing the penalties for a subsequent offense. 

Predicate felonies are significant factors in sentencing decisions, especially in cases where there are repeat offenders or when certain offenses are subject to mandatory sentencing enhancements based on prior convictions. According to ARS § 13-705, the following offenses are considered predicate felonies: 

  • Child abuse conviction
  • Sex offenses
  • Crimes involving the intentional or knowing infliction of serious physical injury
  • Crimes involving the discharge, use, or threat of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument
  • Dangerous Crimes Against Children (in the first or second degree) 
Arizona DCAC Defense Attorney

Why You Need an Experienced Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney for DCAC Charges

Facing DCAC or child abuse charges in Arizona can be incredibly daunting and overwhelming. Many in this position often feel like the entire world is against them before they even get a chance to tell their side of the story. That’s why it is so crucial for those facing charges for crimes against children to equip themselves with experienced legal representation as soon as possible.

Having a skilled Phoenix criminal attorney in your corner can be the difference between freedom and a life behind bars. They can provide invaluable guidance and advice while protecting your rights, identifying weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, exploring potential defenses, and aggressively fighting for you in the courtroom. Their knowledge and experience are critical in successfully navigating the legal process, advocating on your behalf, and striving to secure the most favorable outcome possible under challenging circumstances.

Why Choose Belén?

Choosing Belén Law Firm for your Arizona DCAC case means entrusting your defense to a team of Arizona criminal defense lawyers who are deeply familiar with Arizona law and the entire legal process. Our legal team is committed to constructing a strong defense that attacks the prosecution’s case, meticulously examining the circumstances surrounding your case to identify the most effective strategies. With our comprehensive understanding of the complexities of DCAC charges and a relentless approach to advocacy, our dedicated professionals here at Belén Law Firm ensure that every aspect of your case is handled with precision and care.

Phoenix Dangerous Crimes Against Children Defense Lawyer

Call the Phoenix Dangerous Crimes Against Children Attorneys at Belén Law Firm Today

If you’ve been charged with a Dangerous Crime Against Children in Arizona, the stakes couldn’t be higher. Your next step should be to reach out to an attorney immediately to ensure you receive the skilled legal counsel you need to navigate these turbulent waters. As seasoned Phoenix criminal defense attorneys, our team at Belén Law Firm understands the profound impact DCAC charges can have on a person’s life. That’s why we are dedicated to providing the defense you deserve every step of the way. Don’t face this alone; reach out to Belén Law Firm today and secure the support and guidance you need during this challenging time. We proudly serve clients in Phoenix and throughout Maricopa County, as well as a number of surrounding communities. Give us a call at (602) 715-0908 or contact us online right away to set up a free consultation to discuss your case.

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